Monday, 17 January 2011

Eddie Ellison - A voice from the past

For some reason google news front page highlighted a May 2003 Independent article "The Big Question: Should cannabis be legalised?"

It included a quote for the late Eddie Ellison, a former head of Scotland Yard's drug Squad which I though was just brilliant
Our cities, our roads, our children and our health would be far safer with a mass migration from today's public houses to tomorrow's cannabis caf├ęs.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

"Obtaining sexual contact by fraud"

My attention was drawn by a Sun Headline Girl 'beds lass for eight years by acting as a bloke' .  The story shows the woman arriving at court in handcuffs. The Press Association Report on the case states:
A woman has denied tricking two women into sexual intimacy by pretending to be a man.
Samantha Brooks, 26, is accused of posing as a man called Lee Brooks and thus obtaining sexual contact with them by fraud.

It is alleged that this went on for eight years with one woman and eight months with the other.
I always find these cases worrying. Every Friday and Saturday night (and indeed every day) people are seducing others by a mix of charm, misrepresentation and straight forward deceit. So what is deemed so dishonest as to require the intervention of the criminal justice system? 

However what struck me about this case was the recent news that three undercover police officers had (in more than one sense) penetrated environmental campaigns. The first one exposed was Mark Kennedy who as part of his deception slept with a considerable number of women. Evidence has emerged that the other two adopted similar tactics and deceived activists into having sex. The Telegraph reports:
A 29-year-old member of the group who had a three-month relationship with Officer B in the summer of 2008 told The Guardian newspaper: "I was doing nothing wrong, I was not breaking the law at all.
"So for him to come along and lie to us and get that deep into our lives was a colossal, colossal betrayal."
It does raise the question why the criminal justice system can prosecute Ms Brooks, who I wouldn't be surprised is subsequently showed to be a vulnerable person, but there is no thought of charging these three police officers who have appeared to have considered 'obtaining sexual contact by fraud' as part of their jobs. 

The Guardian has suggested Kennedy's sexual deception could lead to civil actions against the police but do not seem to have consider his, or the other officers, criminal liability,